Who will England face in the next round of the World Cup and is it better to finish second than first?

ENGLAND are through to the knockout rounds of the 2018 World Cup after an impressive 6-1 win over Panama on Sunday.

Three Lions fans are dreaming of lifting the Jules Rimet trophy so is it possible that finishing behind Belgium could give them more of an advantage to make it through to the final?

 Harry Kane scores from the penalty spot as he hit a hat-trick against Panama after a brace versus Tunisia

AP:Associated Press

Harry Kane scores from the penalty spot as he hit a hat-trick against Panama after a brace versus Tunisia

Where could England finish in Group G?

England are guaranteed at least a second place finish after their 6-1 thrashing of Panama.

They are currently top of the group after two games played.

At the moment it is still all to play for on who will finish top of the group, with both Belgium and England on equal points and goal difference.

England are currently ahead because fair play comes into force when points and goal difference is the same.

 Jordan Henderson celebrates John Stone's opening goal against Panama

Getty Images – Getty

Jordan Henderson celebrates John Stone’s opening goal against Panama

World Cup 2018 Group G table

England have guaranteed qualification to the knockout stages with a 6-1 victory over Panama.

  • Their World Cup opener saw them clinch a vital 2-1 win over Tunisia.
  • Belgium also won their first two matches beating Panama 3-0.
  • They then went on to defeat Tunisia 5-2.
  • Both England and Belgium have six points from two games.
  • World Cup group stages are then decided on goal difference rather than head-to-head.
  • The Three Lions are set to face Belgium on Thursday, June 28, at 7pm, to decide who will top Group G.

The winners of the group will play the runners-up of Group H.

The runner-up of Group G will play the winner of Group H.

Their possible opponents from Group H are Japan, Senegal or Colombia.

 The England team celebrate their opening goal against Panama

Getty Images – Getty

The England team celebrate their opening goal against Panama

Why could finishing second provide an ‘easier’ route?

Should England finish second in their group, here is a speculative route to the final:

  • Round of 16: Japan
  • Quarter-final: Sweden
  • Semi-final: Spain
  • Final: Brazil

If England win the group it could be the winner of Group H (Japan, Senegal or Colombia) then Brazil in the quarter-final, should the Brazilians win their group.

 Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard celebrate England's impressive 6-1 win with Lingard scoring the third

AP:Associated Press

Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard celebrate England’s impressive 6-1 win with Lingard scoring the third

Who are England’s likely opponents if they win Group G?

Should Gareth Southgate‘s side finish top of the group, this is who they could face in the knockout stages:

  • Round of 16: Senegal
  • Quarter-final: Brazil
  • Semi-final: France
  • Final: Spain

Fixtures after the group stages

ROUND of 16

Match Day Date KO Team/Group Channel

Saturday, June 30 (7pm): Match 1 – 1A v 2B ITV

Saturday, June 30 (3pm): Match 2 – 1C v 2D: ITV

Sunday, July 1 (3pm): Match 3 – 1B v 2A: BBC

Sunday, July 1 (7pm): Match 4 – 1D v 2C: ITV

Monday, July 2 (3pm): Match 5 – 1E v 2F: BBC

Monday, July 2 (7pm): Match 6 – 1G v 2H: BBC

Tuesday, July 3 (3pm): Match 7 – 1F v 2E: ITV

Tuesday, July 3 (7pm): Match 8 – 1H v 2G: BBC

 Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate was ecstatic after the thrashing of Panama

News Group Newspapers Ltd

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate was ecstatic after the thrashing of Panama

QUARTER FINALS

Friday, July 6 (3pm): QF1 – Winner of Match 1 vs Winner of Match 2 BBC

Friday, July 6 (7pm): QF2 – Winner of Match 5 vs Winner of Match 6 BBC

Saturday, July 7 (3pm): QF3 – Winner of Match 7 vs Winner of Match 8 ITV

Saturday, July 7 (7pm): QF4 – Winner of Match 3 vs Winner of Match 4 ITV



SEMI FINALS

61 Tuesday, July 10 (7pm): SF1 – Winner QF1 vs Winner QF2 ITV
62 Wednesday, July 11 (7pm): SF2 – Winner QF4 vs Winner QF3 BBC

THIRD PLACE PLAY-OFF

63 Saturday, July 14 (3pm): Loser SF1 vs Loser SF2 ITV

FINAL

64 Sunday, July 15 (4pm): Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2 ITV and BBC

Hat-trick hero Harry Kane reflects on England thumping Panama and his hat-trick at World Cup 2018